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J Affect Disord. 2008 Feb;106(1-2):133-43. Epub 2007 Jul 17.

Validation of the Chinese version of the hypomania checklist (HCL-32) as an instrument for detecting hypo(mania) in patients with mood disorders.

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Institute of Behavioral Medicine, National Cheng Kung University College of Medicine, Taiwan, ROC.



Bipolar disorder (BP) has been consistently under-recognized and erroneously diagnosed as major depression. The resulting inappropriate or delayed treatment is associated with elevated risk of (hypo)mania or cycling. The recognition of (hypo)manic episodes is essential for the correct diagnosis of BP. The Hypomania CheckList (HCL-32) is developed to increase the detection of suspected or manifest but mistreated BP cases. We aimed to determine the accuracy and validity of the Chinese version of the HCL-32 in an adult psychiatric setting. We also compared the results with prior studies carried out in a comparable sample.


Patients suffering from mood disorders completed the HCL-32 before being interviewed with the Schedule for Affective Disorder and Schizophrenia-Lifetime (SADS-L) to make DSM-IV diagnosis. The 4-day duration criterion for hypomania was replaced by a 2-day cut-off for BPII. The internal consistency and discriminatory capacity of the HCL-32 were analyzed.


Results indicated high internal consistency of the Chinese version of the HCL-32. The dual factor structure was confirmed. A score of 14 or more on the HCL-32 total scale distinguished between BP and MDD yielding a sensitivity of 82% and a specificity of 67%. This scale also distinguished between BPI and BPII with a sensitivity of 64% and a specificity of 73% for the cut-off score of 21.


The sample size of MDD patients needs to be increased.


The Chinese HCL-32 is a useful screening tool for BP in a psychiatric setting. Its performance is also comparable to that reported in previous studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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